Value engineering originates with the desire to find a lower cost alternative to solve a specific engineering problem. Sometimes the original design for a structure is adequate from a technical standpoint, but when the project is bid, the cost for construction proves to be very high, perhaps exceeding the budgeted funds.Value engineering involves a study of alternative engineering approaches to achieve the same result at lower cost. Successful execution of value engineering studies requires a thorough understanding of the technical issues involved, as well as knowledge of alternate construction methods and associated costs. D'Appolonia has performed value engineering studies and prepared numerous alternate designs that have saved our clients money and reduced construction time. We specialize in situations involving difficult foundation conditions such as karst terrain where foundation conditions can change from hard rock to soft soil in a short distance and in the application of state-of-the-practice technologies that may not have been known to the original designer. Many of our value engineering projects have been associated with highway work and bridge foundations and have involved difficult and many times unanticipated subsurface conditions.

D'Appolonia redesigned the foundations for the piers supporting these bridge structures result-ing in a substantial cost savings.

Some descriptions of D'Appolonia projects involving value engineering studies are provided in the following:


VE Study and Design Services for Kentucky Lock Addition Project

D’Appolonia had the lead for geotechnical aspects of construction of a cofferdam in an area characterized by unusually hard and abrasive limestone that had a highly irregular surface. Our responsibilities included evaluation of in-the-wet rock excavation techniques, development of an underwater blasting plan, and monitoring of the effects of blasting on existing structures and aquatic life.

Value Engineering Study for Bridge Pier Foundations

D’Appolonia provided value engineering design services to the foundation contractor for bridge pier pile foundations for a section of the Mon Fayette Expressway near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our VE design resulted in saving of about 500 piles (about 20,000 lineal feet of pile length) and a reduction in foundation costs of about $1,000,000.

Value Engineering Study for Bridge Abutment Replacement

D’Appolonia redesigned the proposed abutments for a bridge in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. This change allowed construction to be completed two months earlier than anticipated and resulted in a cost savings of $500,000.

Value Engineered Micropile Foundation Alternative

D’Appolonia teamed with a micropile contractor to perform a value engineered foundation study for two of the five piers supporting the Gene Hartzell Memorial Bridge. Our design involved replacement of 48-inch-diameter drilled shafts with micropiles. D'Appolonia's design was implemented by PennDOT resulting in an estimated $200,000 cost savings and a three-month reduction in construction time.

Remediation of Bridge Distress Caused by Slope Movement

D’Appolonia planned and carried out a site subsurface exploration program and performed a value engineering study to identify an economical alternative for stabilizing piers associated with bridges carrying Interstate 80 over Canoe Creek near Knox, Pennsylvania. The piers were stabilized by reconstruction of an adjacent slope, and the abutments were supported on spread footings. The value engineered design resulted in a savings of approximately $100,000 over the original design concept.